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THE passages quoted from Remarks on some of the Characters of Shakspeare, (by William Whateley, Esq.) are printed in Italics ; and the references at the bottom of the page, are to the edition in 8vo. London. 1785.
The references to Shakspeare correspond to the edition by George Steevens, published, with his latest corrections, in twenty-one volumes, under the care of Isaac Reed, in 1803.
KING RICHARD THE THIRD.
Plays are intended, by employing the united powers of precept and example, to have a good influence on the lives of men. It is not necessary towards this end, that the drama should be modelled to the individual forin recommended by Aristotle for its construction, and the distribution of its
parts.* Though the observance or neglect of the much-debated unities in the concoction of a play, as Dryden expresses himself, may excite the praise or censure of the learned and curious; yet it must be allowed, that the Grecian or modern arrangement of acts and scenes is but a conventional merit or defect, that can contribute nothing either to the amend
* That Sophocles, Euripides, and their contemporaries, were not inextricably bound by the unities, and that they might at their choice, and successfully, have varied the ancient form of tragedy, will not perhaps appear an improbable conjecture, when we reflect that, though a decree of the government did very materially alter the structure of comedy in Athens, yet it is no where found, that the New comedy was less favoured and followed in the days of Menander, than the Old had been in the time of Aristophanes.